Mads Pedersen confirms his first race in the rainbow jersey after surprise World Championship win

The Dane took a remarkable victory ahead of Matteo Trentin in Yorkshire

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Mads Pedersen will debut the rainbow jersey this weekend, following his surprise victory in the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships.

The Dane scored an unexpected triumph in Harrogate after 260km of racing in torrential downpours on Sunday (September 29), beating Matteo Trentin and Stefan Küng in a sprint.

Pedersen will make his first appearance in the prestigious rainbow bands on Saturday (October 5) in Belgium, before heading to Italy to end his season.

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The 23-year-old will ride the Tour de l’Eurométropole, which he won last season, before racing Tre Valli Varesine on Tuesday (October 8) and then Milano-Torino the following day, before calling time on his season.

Pedersen became the youngest winner of the men’s World Championship road race since Spain’s Óscare Friere in 1999.

He is also the first male Dane to win the jersey, joining Amalie Dideriksen who took the women’s title in 2016.

Trek-Segafredo rider Pedersen said: “I still can't believe I really did it.

“For sure, it will be very special to line up for the very first time in my rainbow jersey and I am happy I get to show it still before I end my season."

Pedersen has been threatening to break through with a significant win since 2018, when he sailed away to finish second in the Tour of Flanders behind Niki Terpstra.

But this Classics season was a disappointment for Pedersen, whose best result was 33rd in Ghent-Wevelgem.

Speaking after his Worlds win, Pedersen said: “A lot changes for anyone who wins the World Championships, so it’s going to change a lot for me.

“I’m finished with playing the underdog. I think that’s going to be pretty much impossible from now on. That’s a new situation and I have to race in another way from now on.”

The decisive moment for Pedersen came with 47km left to race, as he bridge across from the peloton to join Stefan Küng (Sui) and Lawson Craddock (USA) in the breakaway.

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After Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) and Matteo Trentin (Ita) then launched their own attacks from the bunch, Pedersen found himself in a powerful breakaway that would survive to fight for the win.

Van der Poel was dropped on the final lap of the 14km finishing circuit, which set up a three-rider sprint between Pedersen, Trentin and Küng.

Trentin launched his sprint first with 200m to race but faded fast, allowing Pedersen to spin by and take the rainbow jersey, with Küng finishing third.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.